Mobile menu

Correcting Case Errors -> Arabic
Thread poster: Raphael Schory

Raphael Schory
Local time: 15:08
English to Arabic
+ ...
Jun 1, 2008

Hello Everyone,

First of all, I apologize for my bad English, it's not my native language...

Now to the point: When proofreading Arabic translations, I often encounter a phenomenon which becomes more and more widespread amongst Arabic native speakers. That is to say, ignoring the cases (i. e. the Accusative, Nominative etc. cases).

The real problem is about the Nominative case, where the letter ا ('Alif) should be applied to the words' end, usually. Most of the Arabic translators, however, just ignore this case. For example, the sentence "I took a book" should be translated as "أخذت كتابًا", but many translators write: "أخذت كتاب", ommitting the last ا.

Personally, I'm very sensitive to this case because of my personal appeal to Classical Arabic and to the methods which claim to hold to this school. Still, even in modern Arabic, no professional linguist has decided to cut off this case indicator, and it is still considered as mandatory by the Arabic linguists and grammar teachers.

What, in your opinion, should I do? Should I just "let go of it" and "swim with the stream", ignoring the case's problem, or should I stick to it, even though the same translators do not fix this issue in their next translation?


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Fabio Descalzi  Identity Verified
Uruguay
Local time: 09:08
Member (2004)
German to Spanish
+ ...
Two suggestions Jun 1, 2008

Hi Raphael

Thanks for posting.
May I give you two short pieces of advice,

1) with the explosive growth of the language industry, you can find lots of bad and terribly bad translations (and this is general, I am not speaking about Arabic in particular); this is a very hard part for language professionals in general, who have to struggle with people who are simply unable to write a single page without ortographical errors.
Believe me: when I was 14 I attended my last Spanish Language lesson at school, and ever since I have always written my own language properly; from time to time I may have a doubt regarding an obscure word, but otherwise you will always read a text written in Spanish by me, with NO errors at all. I am 40 years old; and when I see how 15-year-olds (from good schools yet) use to write the glorious "Language of Cervantes" in a shameful way, I cannot believe it - and unfortunately, you see it among university professionals, too...
So - my first advice is: endure as much as you can in search of language excellence, whatever the language you write!

2) post this at the Arabic forum, but in Arabic. Maybe that is the proper way to make inquiries about modern trends in this very widespread language.

[Edited at 2008-06-01 12:48]


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Walter Landesman  Identity Verified
Uruguay
Local time: 09:08
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Arabic forum Jun 1, 2008

Hi Raphael,

Your topic is interesting but seems very especific, at leat in the example you gave.

I agree witgh Fabio. I think you should post your concern in the Arabic forum. You will get fastest and more accurate answers, I believe.

Good luck.


Direct link Reply with quote
 
xxxPeter Manda
Local time: 08:08
German to English
+ ...
accusative Jun 1, 2008

From my 2.5 years of fusha, even I know that the accusative (direct object) requires the "a" at the end.

Direct link Reply with quote
 
xxxOlaf
Local time: 14:08
English to German
Just correct them Jun 1, 2008

Peter is right, what your referring to is the Accusative (النصب) and not the Nominative. It's a common error because case endings are not spoken in conversational Arabic. Simply correct them.

Olaf


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Ammar Mahmood
Iraq
Local time: 15:08
English to Arabic
+ ...
stick to it !! Jun 2, 2008

I can see that not an Arab has replied yet!
Well, as an Arab and as a translator for two daily newspapers here in Iraq, I stick to standard Arabic with all its peculiarities and sometimes irritating features. I believe that the most distingushing feature of standard Arabic is the use of "harakat" and case markers. And since you, and me, and everbody writing or translating into Arabic, is producing what is to be published and read maybe all over the Arab countries, I beleive that we all should stick to the standard, neutral, Arabic. Or else, we will just fall into the ideosyncracies of regional Arabic dialects, and you know how diversified they are!
I see that paying attention to "harakat" in writing makes it much easier for reading.
I am sure that it would take more time from you, but I can say that your product will be much more adored, and all I can end up with is: thank you for the effort and the concern in this issue.
I encourage you to stay "sensitive" and increase your "personal appeal".
By the way, if you want I can send you the book of "البلاغة للزمخشري" which falls into two parts of more than 600 pages each. It is very insightfull in this regard.

Ammar


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Walter Landesman  Identity Verified
Uruguay
Local time: 09:08
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Arabic forum Jun 2, 2008

Ammar Mahmood wrote:

I can see that not an Arabic has replied yet!


That`s why we suggested to post it in tha Arabic forum.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Nesrin  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 13:08
English to Arabic
+ ...
Absolutely, stick with it Jun 2, 2008

Ammar Mahmood wrote:

stick to it!!
(...)
I see that paying attention to "harakat" in writing makes it much easier for reading.


I agree with Ammar that you shouldn't "go with the flow" (if it is indeed a flow, but I wouldn't say that it is - at least it shouldn't be, among people who know the language!!).

But I don't agree that it's simply a matter of "harakat" that make it easier to read. ٍ
Writing أخذت كتاب is quite simply a grammatical error which MUST be corrected. It is only acceptable if it is a transcript of a spoken dialect.


Direct link Reply with quote
 
Tarif Hawari
Local time: 14:08
English to Arabic
+ ...
Standard "and not classic" vs. varities Jul 12, 2008

I'm an Arab translator and linguist, your note can be remarkable, yet, you said that it's an outspreading phenomenon amongst Arab writers, I believe it's only the low variety of it.
The standard "high variety" of language remains the same all over, and that's why i titled my comment as standard and not classic, for it is another issue to have a classic and modern versions of a language. There are plenty of books that discuss the Arabic diacritics. You may google the word and case references, and you'd probably get some of them.


Direct link Reply with quote
 


To report site rules violations or get help, contact a site moderator:


You can also contact site staff by submitting a support request »

Correcting Case Errors -> Arabic

Advanced search


Translation news





TM-Town
Manage your TMs and Terms ... and boost your translation business

Are you ready for something fresh in the industry? TM-Town is a unique new site for you -- the freelance translator -- to store, manage and share translation memories (TMs) and glossaries...and potentially meet new clients on the basis of your prior work.

More info »
Protemos translation business management system
Create your account in minutes, and start working! 3-month trial for agencies, and free for freelancers!

The system lets you keep client/vendor database, with contacts and rates, manage projects and assign jobs to vendors, issue invoices, track payments, store and manage project files, generate business reports on turnover profit per client/manager etc.

More info »



All of ProZ.com
  • All of ProZ.com
  • Term search
  • Jobs